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Mexico Travel - Nuevo Laredo To Monteppey
( Originally Published 1939 - Presented For Historical Purpose )
ONCE YOUR CUSTOMS EXAMINATION HAS BEEN PASSED, YOU will be ready for your first peep at Mexico, via the main street of Nuevo Laredo. This is just about the worst introduction you could possibly have to one of the most fascinating countries in the world. The town is cheap and has the general effect of a rather run-down Coney Island. Take my advice and spend no more time than is necessary here.
About two miles out of Nuevo Laredo the road curves around a sinkhole, and from then on, to La Gloria, a distance of about forty miles, there is not a single curve in the road.
Whether or not you find the scenery along the road from Loredo to Monterrey interesting will depend altogether on whether you are an Easterner or a Westerner. If you are a Westerner, accustomed to the sagebrush country, you will probably find it dull. To an Easterner, on the other hand, it is absolutely fascinating. The country is flat and typically desert; there is more cactus than there was on the Texan side; the landscape is wilder; and, in general, the whole scene has much more of the desert quality than you would expect.
On the right of the road, you will see KILOMETER POSTS. These are numbered from Mexico City, Nuevo Laredo being kilometered 1,228. The federal inspection station is at kilometer i,2o6, and beyond that point you will not be required to stop again, unless you wish to do so at Sabinas Hidalgo. Here, even if it is too early to stop for lunch (and let me warn you that this is the only good luncheon place between Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey), you would do well to examine your gas tank and make sure that you have a good supply of fuel. GAS STATIONS are sufficiently numerous so that you will never run out of gas if you are reasonably careful, but remember that they are not on every corner-they may be forty or fifty miles apart.
The three great gasolines of Mexico are the Huasteca, the Sinclair-Pierce, and the Pemex. At the time of writing, they are all far from being high grade. Of the three, I found that the Pemex was slightly superior, but only slightly.
There is nothing of interest in La Gloria at kilometer 1,154 or in Vallecillo at kilometer 1,121, but there is at SABINAS HIDALGO. Here a Mr. Powers maintains a combination cafe and curio shop. He sells all sorts of typically Mexican products, some good, some bad. In the cafe an excellent lunch is served. I still remember with great pleasure a bit of roast cabrito (roast kid) that I had there. If you have never tasted this dish before, by all means try it here.
In the cafe there is on sale a periodical called POWERS' GUIDE TO MEXICO, the best digest of information for quick reference which I have seen. While it does not give you complete information, it is amazingly adequate and very convenient to handle in the car. I have been told that this particular book is given away free in the Magnolia gas stations in Texas. In the cafe you will pay 50 cents for it, but it is worth the money.
A few miles beyond Sabinas Hidalgo you will enter the MAMULIQUE PASS. This is the pass leading up to the plateau on which Monterrey is situated. Although it takes you to a height of only a little over 2,00o feet, and the actual climb from Sabinas Hidalgo is only about 1,000 feet, the scenery is magnificent. The road is a winding one-so winding, in fact, that they have even marked it with a sign, and when a Mexican puts up a sign "Camino Sinuoso," you may be sure that he means it.
By the time you reach the pass you will already have begun to get distant views of the eastern division of the SIERRA MADRES, and after you have passed the crest of the pass, you will see them at close range. From this point on, you will have the mountains in sight on your right all the way to Tamazunchale. From Tamazunchale to Mexico City, there will be mountains all around you.
Sienegra de Flores at kilometer 1,028 is of no importance whatever, so your next stop will be Monterrey.